Antoni Gaudi 1852 – 1926
Gaudi worked principally in the city of Barcelona in Spain, building projects for wealthy patrons: such as the houses Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, the Parc Guell and its contents, as well as the cathedral of La Sagrada Familia, which was unfinished (and still is) after his death in a road accident. His style was organic and fluid, and included stained glass windows and furniture for the buildings.
Chimneys, Casa Mila
As a finish for a large number of his works, especially the Parc Guell, Gaudi used the Trencadi technique: mosaic made with pieces of glazed pottery. Parc Guell includes the Finca (a house) and Bodegues Guell (a crypt) for one of Gaudi’s principal patrons: Eusebi Guell.
[Page numbers refer to ‘Antoni Gaudi’ by Aurora Cuito & Cristina Montes]
Archway decoration Bodegues Guell [p.333]
Casa Batllo gallery
Chimneys, Casa Mila (see p.59)
Trencadi Lizard, Parc Guell (see p.60)
I sliced both the previous drawings into four pieces and reassembled them in a different order. These are the results; the lines/sections in red might be omitted, and others added, depending on what was required. The combinations are almost endless.
Casa Batllo (rear view)
Frank Lloyd Wright 1867 – 1959
Lloyd Wright worked principally in his native USA. He began his career in an established architect’s practice in Chicago, but wanting to use his own ideas on what a house should be, he left to set up on his own and, like Gaudi, he built projects for wealthy patrons: houses such as Falling Water (probably his most famous), La Miniatura, featuring ‘textile blocks’ and in New York, the Guggenheim building. He also built houses for himself and family members: his own favourite was Taliesin, which, sadly, he had to rebuild twice after disastrous fires. He took inspiration from the ancient civilisations of South America, but expressed them in cast concrete.
Stained glass Guggenheim Building
I am very fond of Hollyhocks, but not very good at growing them. I can see why the patron called her house after them (her favourite flower, apparently) but where Gaudi might have made them look flower-like, Lloyd Wright’s work is more angular and geometric. The Guggenheim Ramp is certainly more organic, but has a touch of ‘brutalism’ in its angles.
Inside the Guggenheim
I did the same exercise with the Hollyhock decoration and the interior of the Guggenheim – cutting them into four and re-assembling them.
The Hollyhock would need a lot of editing- it is very detailed – but the Guggenheim was extremely successful.
Three quite random, unedited, sections.
The bottom, brown, one might be improved by extending downwards and editing the lines.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh stained glass
Charles Rennie Mackintosh ‘Ingram chair’
Saint Martin de Martigny-Courpierre (Aisne)
Quarr Abbey, IOW.
Obviously, none of these images were created by either Antoni Gaudi or Frank Lloyd Wright, but the zeitgeist is present throughout, and it is the same one which inspired both of them. It will continue to inspire others to cross boundaries, and explore both old and new mediums of expression to express their own individualism.